Living in Japan

Tokyo Named World’s Safest City, Osaka Third in Global Ranking

Tokyo has again been named the world’s safest city, in the 2017 Economist’s Safe Cities Index. Osaka came in third, following Singapore.

The 2017 index ranked 60 major cities, scoring 49 indicators across four sub-indexes including digital, health, infrastructure and physical security. Each city was given a score of 100. Tokyo topped the 2017 index with a score of 89.90 with Singapore a close second at 89.64. Osaka came in third with 88.87.

Safe Cities Ranking

Safe Cities Index 2017 Overall Results. Source: Economist


Tokyo’s strongest performance came in the digital security category, ranking number one with a score of 88.40. Tokyo has climbed seven points since 2015 in health security, finishing second at 85.63. In personal security, Tokyo finished fourth with a score of 91.57 (following Singapore, Wellington, and Osaka).

In many of the cities surveyed, security has fallen compared to the 2015 ranking. New York fell 11 points and Jakarta was down 13. A few cities have made improvements. For example, Madrid gained 13 points and Seoul was up six points.

Security remains closely linked to wealth, as cities in developed economies dominated the top half of the index. However the scores of high-income cities are falling. Of the 14 cities in high-income countries, the security scores of ten of these countries have fallen since 2015.

East Asia and Europe Dominate Rankings

East Asian and European cities remain at the top of the index, with four of the top ten cities belonging to East Asia (Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka and Hong Kong) and three of the top ten in Europe (Amsterdam, Stockholm and Zurich).

At the bottom of the index are countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Dhaka Yangon and Karachi are at the bottom of the list while three out of the bottom ten are in Southeast Asia (Manila, Ho Chi Minh and Jakarta). Two are in the Middle East and Africa (Cairo and Tehran).

America’s failing infrastructure is reflected in its low rankings, with no US city making the top ten and only one city (San Francisco) making the top twenty in the infrastructure sub-rankings.

Source: Economist Safe Cities Index 2017